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110                                   VilBDICT  ON  INDIA
If you tzk the average European where you can see some
picUireb he ^nll, firstly, direct you to the nearest cinema^ and then
with a hearty laugh, to the red light district.
If you apply to the Indian intelligentsia they will say 'Ah!
3Ir. A has several pictures by ilr. B in his house. He will be
delighted to show them to you. His house is only 200 miles
away, and soon he will ask you to tea.9
li you proceed to make inquiries about Mr. B's pictures you will
find that nobody else has ever heard of them.
Then, by chance, you run into some fellow eccentric who likes
looking at modern pictures.   You bombard him with questions.
to Tshich the invariable reply is a weary negative.
fcBut there must be some collections ?*
"There aren't.'
fc There  noist  be some studios—personalities—private stuff ?'
'None/
* There must be some critics—magazines—study circles? *
'No.9
Seeing your insistence, however, he will make one admission.
* There is the Bombay Art Society/                                          ~"
Having exhausted so many expletives in describing the archi-
tecture of Bombay we will not weary the reader by describing
the products of Bombay's Art Society ; it ii> sufficient to state that
in. no other country in the world would they be given wall space.
However, as we swiftly draw a veil over these depressing daubs
we observe that they fall, roughly into two classes.
The first, and by far the largest class, consists in a series of
slavish imitations of the Ajanta frescoes1 and the Moghui2 and
Rajput schools.8
1 The Ajanta caves were carved from the solid rock of a mountainside in Hydera-
bad btate.   Ibeir original purpose was to Louse Buddhist monks.   Begun irTabout
200 B.C. the frescoes uhieh adorn their walls reached their highest pitch of per-
iection in the filth century.   Ihey are incomparably the richest artistic inheritance
in hidia, and it is interesting to note that if it had not been for the British they would
probably have been lost for ever.    Alter centuries of neglect, in which they nearly
perisLcct, seine British soldiers stumbled on them m the year 1819, cleared out the
tribesmen who verc using them a<* cattle-sheds, and reported their existence to the
British authorities, who were just in time to save them from destruction.
2 A.D. I55U to 1SGO.   Coinciding with the period of the Moghui dynasty.   Princi-
pally nota ble for its portraits in miniature.
* A*D. 1550 to ItJCO. Lssentially Hindu in expression. Emanating from two large
areas of Northern India, Bajputana and the Punjab Himalaya.